Low-CO2 sales show no sign of slowdown
17 June 2015
Registrations of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure-electric vehicles with emissions below 75g/km have hit 12,000 units in the first five months of this year - a four-fold rise compared with the same period in 2014.
The size of the ultra-low emission vehicle market in the first five months of 2015 is bigger than the entire alternative-fuel market was just three years ago, according to the SMMT.
Manufacturers entering the ULEV market for the first time last year is the key factor behind volumes rising from less than 1000 in 2011 to more than 2000 units last year and on to 11,857 units over the same five-month period.
Alternative-fuel vehicles, which include all hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles regardless of CO2 output level, have broken through the 30,000-unit barrier during the first five months of this year for the first time.
Petrol-hybrid registrations represent the largest segment of the alternative market in the UK, but plug-in hybrids have seen the biggest increase
There are now more than 20 ULEVs available in the UK for fleets to choose from compared with just six in 2011.
Fleets can expect more products to come on-stream soon including a Volkswagen Passat GTE, BMW 3-series hybrid and an Audi Q7 plug-in hybrid.
Mike Hawes, the SMMT's chief executive, said: "The remarkable growth in demand for plug-in vehicles is expected to continue as the range of ultra-low emission vehicles on sale increases."
Meanwhile, the latest registration figures for May also shows fleet business drove the new car market with volumes up 4.5% to 100,599 units.
The increase in fleet registrations last month maintains the continued growth seen so far this year, with company car volumes tracking at 11.8% higher to 528,732 units year-to-date.
The market overall increased by 2.4% in May to 198,706 units year-on-year, according to the SMMT.
The SMMT said that with many purchases on a three-year replacement cycle, new cars bought as the recession ended are now being replaced.